FIFA president Gianni Infantino has not said, ‘Today I feel like an MEP’. This is because no suitcases full of cash from the Qatari government have been found in his hotel room, and none of his work colleagues have been charged with ‘participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering and corruption’.
In addition, Infantino did not comment on suspicions that an unnamed Gulf state had been using bribery to influence decisions by the European Parliament or any other administrative body. Nor did Infantino make any mention of an investigation into potentially one of the biggest corruption scandals in history.
Many MEPs have been critical of Qatar’s record on human rights but Infantino, in common with at least one of the MEPs who may be under increased scrutiny from now on, has been full of praise for the Arab state. Infantino has chosen not to discuss whether this is just a coincidence.
The message from Infantino and certain MEPs, along with that of the Qatari authorities, appears to be ‘Ooh look, a football match, how wonderful’.